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ivan&alice

Slough Arm August 2019 - Navigability? Water points?

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We decided to wait until January on CaRT waterways before we get our Gold license and venture to the Northeast. I figure if I get to Northampton Lock no 17 by the end of December it will mean maximum value from the license.

 

In the meantime we are considering a wander up the Slough arm. No reason other than we haven't been that way.

 

I see that there are a number of topics that sound kind of negative about it. Is it true that we won't make it to the basin due to the weeds and plastic carrier bags? I don't mind if it's not the prettiest place and I don't mind sticking my arm into the weed hatch now and then. Just would like to avoid being stuck in Langley with a mattress around my prop.

 

According to the CaRT facilities map there is a tap right at the end in the basin, but I've had a look at photos from the area and I can't see one. Any idea where it is and if it is working?

 

Any 2019 updates on the navigability of the Slough arm?

 

image.png.ad55a6fc4e2fd2641bc31c8c1d4276b0.png

Edited by ivan&alice

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It was certainly very navigable a few weeks ago. Any weed up to HLY had been trashed, mostly by their fat hire boat. OK up to around St Mary's Road Bridge No9. From here to the end (easy wind) there was a lot of blanket weed mixed with a little plastic, just do this on tick-over. No idea if the water tap is still there, we did no stop. One of our fastest passages, only two trips down the weed hatch!

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I did the Slough arm a couple winters ago - it's not too bad at all in terms of navigability and even picturesque (?) ness, at least for the most part. At the end is a rather down at hill mooring/turning/watering point (just as pictured of course!). Good I thought, hot bath tonite with an easy refill off the tap and no other boats around. Soon after mooring I became aware it was a cut through for a council estate and kids banging on the boat as they go past. So I untied and left. Never got to see the delights of Slough.

I had to break ice all the way back too.

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14 minutes ago, Johny London said:

Never got to see the delights of Slough.

There's a reason for that ... and it's not because you left earlier than planned! 

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The first image shows the end a couple of weeks ago. It there is a water point to that side (extreme left of image) then I would not attempt to get to it. The mooring the other side had at least one supermarket trolley. This is why we (To Mrs TNC's disappointment) did not stop for lunch. The other image shows the view from the end.

SloughEnda.jpg

SloughEnd.jpg

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The first time I heard OP's question would have been around 1980.

In those days you couldn't garner opinion from a host of people you don't actually know, so you went to look for yourself.  Which is probably why so few go anywhere these enlightened years.

 

After I'd done it I felt a sense of achievement and crossed it off the list.

The following week, newspapers reported that Micky Dolenz (Monkees drummer & child actor in Circus Boy) had been pelted with stones most of his journey down there and back.

 

By the way if OP considers the mark of satisfaction is to get to Northampton lock at the end of December, then I envy him his advance knowledge of this year's maintenance stoppages.  Perhaps he could share with us where else will be open?

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14 minutes ago, zenataomm said:

By the way if OP considers the mark of satisfaction is to get to Northampton lock at the end of December, then I envy him his advance knowledge of this year's maintenance stoppages.  Perhaps he could share with us where else will be open?

This winters stoppage program has been published, so trips can be planned around it. Doesn't cover emergency ones though, but that is true of the summer!

 

Jen

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1 hour ago, zenataomm said:

The first time I heard OP's question would have been around 1980.

In those days you couldn't garner opinion from a host of people you don't actually know, so you went to look for yourself.  Which is probably why so few go anywhere these enlightened years.


Pardon but I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that I shouldn't have asked? Given that you can garner opinion from people you don't actually know these days, it seems prudent to do so; besides I'm just making conversation. I've pretty much already decided to do it!

 

1 hour ago, zenataomm said:

After I'd done it I felt a sense of achievement and crossed it off the list.

The following week, newspapers reported that Micky Dolenz (Monkees drummer & child actor in Circus Boy) had been pelted with stones most of his journey down there and back.

Are you saying that Micky Dolenz took a boat down the Slough arm and got pelted with stones in the 1980s??
 

1 hour ago, zenataomm said:

By the way if OP considers the mark of satisfaction is to get to Northampton lock at the end of December, then I envy him his advance knowledge of this year's maintenance stoppages.  Perhaps he could share with us where else will be open?

That's the rough plan but I'm not dead set on it. If it's not open, I'll go somewhere else. C'est la vie.

 

59 minutes ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

This winters stoppage program has been published, so trips can be planned around it. Doesn't cover emergency ones though, but that is true of the summer!

From this it looks like I can get to Northampton on time :)


Thanks all for the pics and stories!

  • Greenie 1

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4 hours ago, ivan&alice said:


Pardon but I'm not sure exactly what you're trying to say here. Are you implying that I shouldn't have asked? Given that you can garner opinion from people you don't actually know these days, it seems prudent to do so; besides I'm just making conversation. I've pretty much already decided to do it!

 

Are you saying that Micky Dolenz took a boat down the Slough arm and got pelted with stones in the 1980s??
 

That's the rough plan but I'm not dead set on it. If it's not open, I'll go somewhere else. C'est la vie.

 

From this it looks like I can get to Northampton on time :)


Thanks all for the pics and stories!

Wow you're twitchy! I wasn't trying to say anything, I believe I was saying it.

Plus I wasn't implying anything other than your question has been being asked within my earshot for nearly 40 years.  The only difference being we had to go places to find out what they're like, and form our own opinion.  The photos showing how it looks compared to my memories of it in the 90s is disappointing.  I commented that it might all be deteriorating because listening to others' opinions may well be adding to the lack of visitors.  The same applies to Coventry Basin, every year we see 2-3 posts asking if they should go down the 5 1/2 to The Basin.  I go down there every time I can, yet every year there are less making the trip.  If you intend to do it anyway, good on yer. 

There used to be a plaque you could get from HLY upon production of a photo of your boat at the end of The Slough.  I don't know if you still can get one.  The Coventry Canal Society started giving a certificate to anyone who presented a photo of their boat at both ends of the Coventry Canal.  Last year I believe none were presented. I urge everyone to go to these neglected places, or Waterways will stop maintaining them, and we 'll be facing another round of campaigns to try and save them … again!.

 

Yes I am saying that Micky Dolenz took a boat down the Slough arm and got pelted with stones in the 1980s.  He was Producing and Directing [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Mickey]Metal Mickey[/url] and went on holiday with his family on a hire boat.  Another little known fact about him ( Dolenz not Metal Mickey) his Mother invented Tippex and he was heir to the company and fortune earned from it.

 

The unreliability of Waterways' published stoppages list sadly led to me not boating after October.  We fought for years to diminish any idea of there being a boating season which is was it was openly referred to by BWB every year.  I used to do more boating over the Winter than at any other time. Now we seem to accept or even embrace the idea of there being a boating season.

I hope you get to Northampton, and Slough and Coventry Basin …. and encourage as many as you can to do the same so we don't all share the opinion of one person about places we've never seen.

 

  • Greenie 1

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You might be lucky, I gave up just short of the Festival fields a couple of years ago in late July after doing 300 yards in 2 hours.

Apparently, the arm has the CRT weed cutter and rubbish boat sent down just before the September festival, so if you are planning for the next few weeks, you might just make it.

7 minutes ago, zenataomm said:

 

There used to be a plaque you could get from HLY upon production of a photo of your boat at the end of The Slough.  I don't know if you still can get one.  The Coventry Canal Society started giving a certificate to anyone who presented a photo of their boat at both ends of the Coventry Canal.  

 

I didnt know that, have done and enjoyed both ends of the Coventry many times, and have photos to prove it.

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8 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

And nobody has yet quoted Sir John Betjeman.

Anyone who actually wants to go to Slough has never heard his opinion of it.

 

 

slough.JPG

Edited by Chris Williams

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37 minutes ago, zenataomm said:

The Coventry Canal Society started giving a certificate to anyone who presented a photo of their boat at both ends of the Coventry Canal.  Last year I believe none were presented. I urge everyone to go to these neglected places, or Waterways will stop maintaining them, and we 'll be facing another round of campaigns to try and save them … again!.

 

I didn't realise that Fradley had become a neglected place on the waterways. ?

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21 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

I didn't realise that Fradley had become a neglected place on the waterways. ?

But the other end of the main Coventry Canal is at Fazeley! Fradley is the far end of the detached section!?

(Not that Fazeley seems any more neglected).

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1 hour ago, zenataomm said:

Wow you're twitchy! I wasn't trying to say anything, I believe I was saying it.

Plus I wasn't implying anything other than your question has been being asked within my earshot for nearly 40 years.  The only difference being we had to go places to find out what they're like, and form our own opinion.  The photos showing how it looks compared to my memories of it in the 90s is disappointing.  I commented that it might all be deteriorating because listening to others' opinions may well be adding to the lack of visitors.  The same applies to Coventry Basin, every year we see 2-3 posts asking if they should go down the 5 1/2 to The Basin.  I go down there every time I can, yet every year there are less making the trip.  If you intend to do it anyway, good on yer. 

There used to be a plaque you could get from HLY upon production of a photo of your boat at the end of The Slough.  I don't know if you still can get one.  The Coventry Canal Society started giving a certificate to anyone who presented a photo of their boat at both ends of the Coventry Canal.  Last year I believe none were presented. I urge everyone to go to these neglected places, or Waterways will stop maintaining them, and we 'll be facing another round of campaigns to try and save them … again!.

 

Yes I am saying that Micky Dolenz took a boat down the Slough arm and got pelted with stones in the 1980s.  He was Producing and Directing [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metal_Mickey]Metal Mickey[/url] and went on holiday with his family on a hire boat.  Another little known fact about him ( Dolenz not Metal Mickey) his Mother invented Tippex and he was heir to the company and fortune earned from it.

 

The unreliability of Waterways' published stoppages list sadly led to me not boating after October.  We fought for years to diminish any idea of there being a boating season which is was it was openly referred to by BWB every year.  I used to do more boating over the Winter than at any other time. Now we seem to accept or even embrace the idea of there being a boating season.

I hope you get to Northampton, and Slough and Coventry Basin …. and encourage as many as you can to do the same so we don't all share the opinion of one person about places we've never seen.

 

Sorry you thought I was being twitchy! Not at all, I just wasn't understanding your response. It was a genuine question.

 

That's an amazing fact about Mickey Dolenz getting pelted with stones. I'm definitely going now!! And I'll be sure to report back with the experience.

 

Thanks for your reply and I'll try to phrase things more carefully in future ?

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5 minutes ago, David Mack said:

But the other end of the main Coventry Canal is at Fazeley! Fradley is the far end of the detached section!?

(Not that Fazeley seems any more neglected).

 

I  agree Fazeley is the original end of the Coventry and isn't that neglected, but the redevelopment in recent years hasn't exactly been sympathetic, for example Peel Wharf.

Edited by cuthound
Spillung

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9 hours ago, David Mack said:

 

And nobody has yet quoted Sir John Betjeman.

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
It isn't fit for humans now,
There isn't grass to graze a cow
Swarm over, Death!

Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,
Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
Tinned minds, tinned breath.

Mess up the mess they call a town -
A house for ninety-seven down
And once a week for half-a-crown
For twenty years,

And get that man with double chin
Who'll always cheat and always win,
Who washes his repulsive skin
In women's tears,

And smash his desk of polished oak
And smash his hands so used to stroke
And stop his boring dirty joke
And make him yell.

But spare the bald young clerks who add
The profits of the stinking cad;
It's not their fault that they are mad,
They've tasted Hell.

It's not their fault they do not know
The birdsong from the radio,
It's not their fault they often go
To Maidenhead

And talk of sports and makes of cars
In various bogus Tudor bars
And daren't look up and see the stars
But belch instead.

In labour-saving homes, with care
Their wives frizz out peroxide hair
And dry it in synthetic air
And paint their nails.

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
To get it ready for the plough.
The cabbages are coming now;
The earth exhales.

  • Happy 1

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2 hours ago, zenataomm said:

Another little known fact about him ( Dolenz not Metal Mickey) his Mother invented Tippex and he was heir to the company and fortune earned from it.

 

 

Actually it was Mike Nesmiths of the Monkees mother that invented “Liquid Paper”.....tippex came later....and nothing to do with Mickey Dolenz...who I met once in his capacity as a music video director...really nice down to earth chap! 

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13 hours ago, matty40s said:

 

I didnt know that, have done and enjoyed both ends of the Coventry many times, and have photos to prove it.

We went down to the Coventry basin for the first time in 6 years this summer. We found it much improved since last time we were there. The establishment of a hire boat base in the basin has made the place a bit more bustling and has obviously increased the traffic levels. The canal itself was much cleaner.

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5 hours ago, billS said:

We went down to the Coventry basin for the first time in 6 years this summer. We found it much improved since last time we were there. The establishment of a hire boat base in the basin has made the place a bit more bustling and has obviously increased the traffic levels. The canal itself was much cleaner.

I first went to Coventry Basin in 1968.  Helped Bert Dunkley on one of his rubbish clearing trips.  Ended up in 'The Greyhound' with Rose and Joe.

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